Sonoma State soccer: Women play to 2-2 draw vs. Cal State Stanislaus; men win 2-0

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

ROHNERT PARK — It was exactly the type effort and outcome that would be expected when two of the nation’s top NCAA Division II women’s soccer teams collide.

No. 15 Sonoma State’s Cara Curtin scored twice in the final 30 minutes to give her team a lead, but 11th-rated Cal State Stanislaus rallied on Katelyn Nebesnick’s goal with just 45 seconds left in regulation as the California Collegiate Athletic Association powers played to a 2-2 tie on Friday.

“I always want to win, but I wasn’t disappointed with the outcome,” said Sonoma State head coach Emiria Salzmann Dunn after her young club battled a more experienced Warriors squad evenly through 110 minutes of play. “Stanislaus is a great team that can put you on your heels. We had some injuries and some starters out.

“So, I’m really pleased with that kind of effort.”

The teams are still tied atop the CCAA North Division with identical 2-0-1 records.

Both clubs are 4-0-1 overall.

Stanislaus broke a scoreless tie with 29 minutes, 54 seconds left in the second half. Sabrina Williamson scored off an assist from Kirsten Coleman.

It was the first goal that the Seawolves yielded this season.

“Once we were behind a goal, I was interested to see how we would respond,” Salzmann Dunn said. “We were unscored upon, so I wanted to see if we’d battle back. We came back and showed real grit.”

Cara Curtin’s first goal came 70 minutes into the contest when the former Maria Carrillo High standout controlled a pass from Casa Grande grad Margi Osmundson and beat the defense to tie the game.

“Margi did a good job to set me up,” said Cara Curtin, the senior who starred for the Seawolves on Friday alongside her mercurial sister Lauren. “I shot for the far post. We work on that type of play in practice a lot.”

The Seawolves defense, led by goalkeeper Allison Hadidian, fought off a relentless Warriors’ attack. She had two leaping saves, as well as a save off a corner kick, before stopping a shot with 5:28 left in regulation to keep things tied.

“Our defense has been our question mark because four of the five back there are new,” Salzmann Dunn said. “You don’t know how they’ll perform until they’re faced with a series of different situations against different teams. They showed they can really do the job today.”

The Seawolves gained control and were on the offensive when Lauren Curtin, a junior, set up for a corner kick with 4:16 to play in regulation. She drilled a low line drive toward the front of the goal where sister Cara leaped and headed the ball into the net to put Sonoma on top, 2-1.

Sonoma put Lauren Curtin back on defense and seemed in control. Seawolves’ fans in a crowd of over 500 had started to celebrate when Nebesnick broke toward the Sonoma goal with a defender on her hip.

The pass from Karli Nestler was on target. Nebesnick beat Hadidian to tie the game 2-2 with 45 seconds remaining.

The two teams failed to score in two, 10-minute overtime periods.

Salzmann Dunn couldn’t be happier with the Seawolves and being ranked 15th in the nation has nothing to do with it.

“The players are so young that I’d have to say they’re exceeding my expectations,” the coach said. “I don’t even know what the rankings are. I haven’t looked at rankings this season. To be without a loss and having played this well against a really good team today, I couldn’t really expect more than that.”

Sonoma State’s women’s team plays host to Cal State East Bay Sunday beginning at 2 p.m.

SONOMA STATE MEN WIN, 2-0

In the first game Friday at Rohnert Park, the Seawolves men scored both of their goals in the last 20 minutes of regulation to improve to 2-1-0 in the CCAA and 3-1-1 overall.

Stanislaus fell to 0-3-0 in conference and 1-3-1.

“This was a good win for us,” said Sonoma State head coach Marcus Ziemer. “Our defense was solid, we generated a lot of chances, and we put a couple away.”

Sonoma State goalkeeper Beau Diaz earned his third shutout of the season. He also got an assist in the 82nd minute when he booted the ball beyond the Warriors defense. Sophomore Chris Pihl got to it and scored from in close.

The Seawolves took the lead in the 73rd minute.

Sophomore Sean Callahan ripped one past the keeper, to his left. Montgomery High grad Nico Spann earned the assist.

The Seawolves outshot the Warriors 14-2.

Sonoma State’s men’s team plays host to Cal State East Bay Sunday beginning at 11:30 a.m.

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